If you know anybody who works in accounting, you’ve probably heard them say, “I’ve been busy with year-end closing” or “I’m always swamped at the end of a quarter.”
Finance departments know they have to work with those deadlines, and there’s no way around it. But there are a lot of other things that finance teams are responsible for that can be managed differently.
Specifically, when talking about a company’s accounts receivable (A/R) department, CFOs can give their A/R team valuable time back during the workweek when switching to an automated B-to-B payments solution. Tangible benefits of automating A/R include the following:
Risk reduction and super speed. By switching to an automated system, companies are not only able to speed up operations but can also reduce the risk of human error. When an A/R team has to manually print and mail out every invoice, there’s a greater chance they could be inadvertently sent to the wrong customer or get lost in the mail. On the payments side, if a payment is received without a remittance, A/R teams can often spend countless hours manually matching those payments. Automation not only decreases the chance of mistakes happening, it also significantly reduces manual processes while overall improving the invoice-to-cash cycle.
Less paper, less hassle. Nothing weighs down an A/R team like mountains of paperwork, so ease some stress and go digital. Automation will save the company time and money by cutting out any mailing or printing costs associated with paper billing and payments. This will also improve customer service by allowing customers to have an electronic trail for their payments. Through enhanced customer service, your A/R department will also experience less stress from dealing with customer service related issues. The bottom line is, you can lose talented people on your team if they’re focusing all of their time on strictly manual processes and customer service issues.
Finally, providing more options for your customers to pay can entice them to make payments more quickly. Online portals and one-time use credit cards are just a couple of examples of options that customers are taking advantage of more often these days. Traditional, manual payment methods are falling by the wayside, and it’s the right time to make an upgrade so customers can make payments when and how it is convenient for them.
A company’s finance team is faced with many deadlines throughout their fiscal year, and the invoice-to-cash process is no different for A/R. But automation can relieve a lot of the pressure that these teams feel. Incorporating more automation and digital solutions will result in less manual work and more time back. Ultimately, this will limit stress within your A/R department altogether, potentially saving turnover costs in the long-run, too.